What Are Seven Ways to Engage Clinicians in QI?

Don Goldmann, MD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

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Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • List several ways to engage clinicians in quality improvement work.
  • Discuss the difference between quality improvement and quality assurance.
  • List at least two ways to get credit for quality improvement work.
Description: One of the biggest challenges of improving quality within health care is engaging clinicians in the work. Clinicians have demanding schedules, high stress levels, and pressure from payers and accreditors. How can you engage these busy colleagues to join your improvement work?
Don Goldmann, MD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at IHI, answers the question with knowledge from his decades of experience as a clinician and leader of improvement. In fact, Dr. Goldmann shares seven answers, the rules he says are critical if you want to engage the people doing the work in improving it.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Which of Dr. Goldmann’s rules do you think is most important? Why?
  2. What can you say to a clinician to convince them you are focused on quality improvement and not quality assurance?
  3. Have you ever led improvement work? Who did you find most challenging to engage? How did you engage that group?
  4. Have you ever resisted or resented a process change that might have resulted in improvement? If so, what made you react that way?
  5. Can you think of any other rules that could help you engage colleagues in improvement work? What about engaging non-clinicians in improvement work?
  6. Why is it important to engage the people doing the work in the improvement project? Is it more important to engage them at the beginning? At the end? Throughout the process?
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